In case you haven't heard, the next "big thing" after bike sharing has arrived. Welcome to the age of cashier-free convenience stores, the latest craze among venture capitalists in China. Since the launch of Amazon Go, the U.S. e-commerce giant's retail store that requires no cashiers and no check-out, the concept has been quickly adopted in China and taken to a whole new level.
IDG Capital and Chinese hotel management company Huazhu Hotels Group Ltd. have led a US$50 million pre-A round in Chengjia Apartment, an apartment rental start-up.
Chinese artificial intelligence start-up SenseTime has completed a US$410 million series B round, in what the company calls the largest private financing rounds ever closed by an AI start-up globally.
Legend Capital, the corporate venture capital investment arm of Chinese tech firm Legend Holdings Ltd., has led a series A round worth over RMB100 million (US$14 million) in Bespin Global, a South Korean start-up providing managed cloud services to medium and large enterprises globally.
Chinese angel investor 10Fund has led a series A round worth tens of million RMB in CloudBrain, a U.S. and China-based artificial intelligence cloud start-up, with participation from WI Harper Group.
Chinese gene sequencing giant BGI Genomics Co., Ltd. today completed an initial public offering on the ChiNext board in Shenzhen, raising around RMB1.7 billion (US$250 million). The successful IPO comes after the company previously failed to list in the U.S. and Hong Kong, as well as an unsuccessful bit to achieve an A-share float via a reverse merger.
Lenovo Capital and Incubator Group, the venture capital arm of Chinese tech firm Lenovo Group Ltd., has led a RMB20 million (US$3 million) series A round in Imsight Medical, a start-up developing artificial intelligence-assisted medical imaging analysis tools.
China-focused venture capital firm GGV Capital has led a US$10 million series A round in Yamibuy, an e-commerce platform focused on selling specialty Chinese and Asian goods to Asian consumers living in North America. Chinese private education firm New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc. also participated in the round.
A fund managed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences Holdings Co., Ltd. has led a RMB150 million (US$22 million) round in Shanghai Slamtec Co., Ltd., a Chinese company providing affordable and high-performance laser sensor solutions for robots in auto localization and navigation.
China's venture capital market made strong gains in the second quarter of 2017, as the total value of new venture investments more than tripled to US$10.7 billion, compared to US$3.5 billion recorded during the first three months of the year, according to a KPMG report.
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